By Robin Brooks
The University of Washington’s eScience Institute hosted its first Geohackweek Nov. 14 – 18, 2016. Inspired by AstroHackWeek and Neurohackweek, the conference combined tutorials with group work (“hacks”) on computational projects in geospatial sciences.
With the help of 15 instructors, the event offered training in open-source vector and raster processing, multidimensional array analysis, data visualization, remote dataset access and cloud technologies. It also emphasized collaboration and reproducibility through tutorials on Git/GitHub, Docker, Anaconda and Jupyter notebooks. During the week, about 50 participants designed projects that explored software to address global climate change, urban planning, ecosystem management and other geospatial science challenges.
The event was organized and taught by Anthony Arendt, Catherine Kuhn, Allison Smith, Randy LeVeque, Rob Fatland, Ben Hudson, Emilio Mayorga, Landung “Don” Setiawan, David Shean, Christina Bandaragoda, Nicoleta Cristea, Amanda Tan, David Beck, Bernease Herman and Joe Hamman. The committee spanned multiple UW institutions including the eScience Institute, Applied Physics Lab, School of Oceanography, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Math and UW IT.
The conference welcomed guest lecturers Tyler Erickson and Nicholas Clinton who demonstrated the capabilities of Google Earth Engine, James Douglass from the Natural Capital Project who provided tutorials on raster processing, and Ben Weinstein (Oregon State University) and Ian Rose (Berkeley Institute for Data Science) who brought expertise in version control and Jupyter notebooks.
Numerous institutes across the University of Washington campus were engaged in Geohackweek activities. The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences hosted a seminar and reception, and both the UW Freshwater Initiative and the Information Technology groups provided financial support and assisted with tutorial and project work.